1: the multipolarity debate


the visions of more than 30 authors are presented in this chapter about the geopolitical features of the future. They reveal debates between orthodox and reformist authors about which nations will be the most powerful by 2020, what kinds of international alignments will form, and the nature of the post-Cold War transitional pattern.

the current assessment, 1986-99

China's current assessment of the future security environment is based on the kind of calculations Sun Zi and the Warring States strategists would recognize. It was issued before the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War and can be dated to early 1986. The assessment characterizes the present world as being in a "new era" of transition that will last several decades. During this period, great rivalries will emerge among the powers, and many local wars will be fought (as large as Korea in 1950 or the Gulf War in 1991), as a "re-division of spheres of influence" and a struggle for world leadership takes place. Bosnia is one example of the strife that typifies the era, because the Bosnia conflict is frequently called a "struggle between the United States and the European Union for domination of Europe." NATO enlargement, which China opposes, is another example of this "struggle to re-divide spheres of influence." The outcome of this transitional period of "turbulence" will have the following eight features:


Within the framework of this strategic assessment, China's analysts discuss a number of subjects in their journals and books. (73) For example, the question frequently arises about how current events fit into the framework. Some Chinese authors see the following examples of the "turbulent period of transition" as suggesting that former spheres of influence are being "re-divided." While not all Chinese authors included in this volume would agree with all these findings, the examples demonstrate how the framework of the assessment of the future is applied in practice:

multipolarity proclaimed in 1986

Chinese analysts do not observe international scholarly standards by footnoting each other or providing bibliographical information. Most authors write as if they were the sole Chinese to ever deal with an issue, in sharp contrast to Western scholarly books and articles, where the author is expected to make clear his debt to earlier work and narrowly and modestly to describe his new contribution. Thus, no Chinese author writing in the 1990s refers to the origins of the current view of the future security environment. Interviews have established that it was Huan Xiang, Deng Xiaoping's national security adviser, who had both access to scholarly experts from Shanghai as well as experience as China's ambassador to Britain, who announced its features in early 1986, just after the U.S.-Soviet summit. Huan's speeches and articles in 1984 and 1985 described a world structure that was changing, but it was still unclear what actions the major players would take and its characteristics were not yet determined:

Beginning in January 1986, the uncertainty about the future world structure had disappeared, and its transformation and transition had definite traits and stages. (82) Huan explained, "Future international politics and economics are facing a new period." (83)

China's national security analysts became very concerned about Bush administration proposals for a "new international order" and held a conference in 1991 to discuss their own views. (90) The phrase "New World Order" was first used by then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the November 1990 Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) Summit in Paris and at the U.N. General Assembly speech on December 7, 1988, when he announced severe reductions in Soviet military forces, including Soviet forces stationed in the Warsaw Pact countries, which, according to a congressional research study, may have stimulated the unraveling of support for the Communist parties in Eastern Europe and "the demise of the Warsaw Pact." (91) Multipolarity in the 21st century was forecast by a senior scholar in 1991. (92)

revisionist multipolarity

Challenging the Orthodox View

As mentioned, Chinese authors rarely refer to each other and almost never criticize other authors by name, but in 1997, two unusual articles broke this apparent taboo in two national journals. The episode began when Yang Dazhou, a well-known senior analyst at the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS), published a direct and detailed criticism of the orthodox assessment of the coming world of multipolarity. (93) It is difficult for any foreign observer to know whether the article remained within the bounds of scientifically "seeking truth from facts" that Deng Xiaoping demanded in 1978, or whether it was a "poisonous weed" that threatened Communist Party doctrine, because Central Party documents, which authoritatively set the range of debate, are never made public. Some of those interviewed said the article tested the outer limits of Party orthodoxy about the future world.

The article met with a vigorous response from a senior general in military intelligence. In a departure from the tradition of merely stating a view without debating anyone else, the PLA general actually quoted long passages from the reformer's article. The general then wrote that these views were ridiculous, without foundation, and unsupportable and, worst of all, played into the hands of the United States. (94)

Several Chinese authors commented in interviews on both the style and the issues of this unusual "debate." They acknowledged that the two articles reflect a difference among the senior leadership of China about the pace of the decline of the United States and the rate of the rise of "multipolarity." At least a few influential civilian analysts are said to have written sensitive internal studies for the senior leadership of China, concluding that the United States may remain a superpower for as long as 50 more years. However, analysts stated that no one is willing yet to openly publish the view because of resistance by the military and some civilians who cling to the conventional assessment. This "debate" may have been addressed at the 1997 traditional annual month-long meeting of China's most senior leaders. If so, it highlights the importance of these contradictory two articles on the future security environment.

In his article, Yang Dazhou heretically argues against each of the key features of the orthodox view of the future security environment, putting forward a reformist scenario:

The Orthodox Counterattack

According to an interview the author of this volume conducted in Beijing in May 1998, the editor of the PLA journal International Strategic Studies decided that an unsolicited article by General Huang Zhengji merited publication even though it was very "sharp" (hostile in tone) and "out of the ordinary" in style. General Huang quoted passages from Yang's article without directly citing it and reasserted the orthodox view on each of these points:

Local wars are certain, even though "'peace and development' is the main trend" during the transitional period of uncertainty in the decades ahead.

According to interviews, the orthodox forecast of the future security environment continues to dominate in all Chinese international studies journals. It is as if the reformist views of Yang Dazhou's article had never appeared. Two methods reinforce the orthodox view. First, new developments are assembled to "prove" the orthodox view. For example, a typical review of 1997 supposedly provided clear evidence not only of the "acceleration" of the inevitable trend toward multipolarity, but also of America's declining international influence: the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) refusal of U.S. demands that Burma not be admitted as a member of ASEAN; Russian and European defiance of U.S. pressure not to trade with Iran; and Brazil's blocking of U.S. efforts for a free-trade zone in South America. (97)

The second method to reinforce the orthodox and ignore the reform view is repetitive articles by senior officials. One novel example is the publication of a speech given at Harvard University in December 1997 by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, General Xiong Guangkai, that contained all the features of the orthodox view. According to interviews in Beijing, the use of Harvard as the location and a senior PLA policy maker as the "awesome" vehicle was an emphatic message to reformers. It is useful to quote at some length the words Xiong used to reinforce the orthodox view of the future:

techniques for showing dissent

As stated, the orthodox and reform views rarely confront each other. Therefore, the open "debate" between Yang Dazhou and Huang Zhengji was without precedent in dealing with such core issues as to whether:

This is not to say that there are no differences or variances in opinion about the above issues; merely, other authors do not mention anyone else's views, let alone criticize them. Sometimes a "neutral" author alludes to the existence of different points of view on an issue, or a journal will publish the comments of several scholars from a conference in a way that shows disagreements exist. For example, in 2000: Where is the World Going?, Yang Zheng sets forth six different scenarios for the future world structure, but he only provides a scholar's name in one scenario, does not distinguish between the views of Chinese and foreign analysts, and does not examine or give his own opinion on the feasibility of these possible scenarios. (99)

In 1997, a very senior analyst at CICIR, Li Zhongcheng, outlined three different views of the future world structure by analysts at CICIR and CASS. Although they are not described as being part of a debate, their conflicting arguments fall into the opposing sides of the Yang Dazhou-Huang Zhengji dispute. The first scenario is depicted in the writings of Xi Runchang of CASS, who, like Yang Dazhou, refers to the world pattern following the collapse of the Soviet Union as "one super, four strong," and believes that this pattern constitutes a world structure: "Currently there has already basically formed a new embryonic structure supported by the five powers . . . in the 21st century, this new structure will further form and be perfected." (100)

The views of Yan Xuetong of CICIR are representative of the second scenario, "the theory on finalizing the basic design of multipolarity." He asserts, "The basic establishment of the great nations' strategic relations in 1996 caused the post-Cold War transition from a bipolar structure to a one super many strong structure to be completed." (101) Finally, the writings of Song Baoxian and Yu Xiaoqiu of CICIR offer a third scenario, which is more similar to that of Huang Zhengji and the orthodox camp, that "multipolarity is forming" and that countries other than the five most powerful are growing in strength. They argue, "The development of the multipolarity trend is accelerating" and "A new group of powers will rise" that will have a "restricting role with regard to the five major powers, [and] will cause the multipolarity trend of the world structure to be even more attractive and varied." (102) Li does not directly criticize any of the authors whose concepts he presents, although his own views appear to be much closer to those represented in the third scenario.

Authors sometimes resort to citing respected foreign experts in order to dissent. For example, in 1997 in a book published by CICIR, the three authors, who are presumably aware of the orthodox position that there can only be five poles, hinted that Henry Kissinger holds a reform view: "Kissinger predicted that the future world will have six poles--America, Japan, China, Russia, Europe, and India. . . .[Today] India's military power is only fourth behind the United States, Russia and China, and India's Comprehensive National Power is continually increasing." (103)

Another innovative technique to avoid debate of the orthodox view is to rise above it by inventing new definitions of orthodox terms. Yan Xuetong of CICIR writes, "The new international structure has some special characteristics, the most important of which is the replacement of 'poles'(ji) by 'units' (yuan). The nature of 'poles' is long-term stable confrontation, but the nature of 'units' is that the dominant position of key countries is determined by the nature of specific affairs." (104) These definitions elude the orthodox line. Much of Yang Dazhou's article challenged the orthodox view by employing this very tactic of establishing and clarifying definitions for key words and phrases, such as "pole," "transition era," "pluralization" (duoyuanhua) versus "multipolarization" (duojihua), and "major nation" (daguo) versus "a power" (qiangguo).

For example, Yang defined what constitutes a "pole" based on the standards of the Cold War era, when the United States and the Soviet Union were the only two poles. The "four strong," consequently, are not poles because "when compared to the Soviet Union, there still is a great distance." (105) Similarly, in his argument against those who claim that the world is in a transition era that will go on for an undetermined long period of time, Yang argues that by definition a transition is not indefinite. "Some people believe that the post-Cold War transition period could continue for 20, even 30 years. This type of argument is not appropriate; a 'transition period' always has an ending time. Suppose the 'transition period' goes on for 20 or 30 years, then this itself already constitutes a new structure different from that of the Cold War period." (106)

differences within the orthodox camp

Differences of opinion clearly exist between the reform and orthodox camps over whether or not a world structure has already been established, but even among scholars who adhere to the orthodox line and believe that the world is in a transition period, various views can be found on how long it will last. No real consensus appears to exist on the subject. Many authors simply make vague predictions without giving a time frame of when multipolarity might emerge, other than "in the early 21st century." For example, He Feng of the State Council International Studies Center writes, "Because the replacement of the old world structure by a new one is taking place under peaceful conditions, this transition era certainly will be comparatively long," and he believes that it will "continue into the early part of the next century." (107)

Chen Qimao, former president of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS) breaks down the transition period into three stages, which the world will go through before a multipolar structure is established. The first stage was from 1989 to 1991, when the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union brought about the end of the Cold War. Currently, according to Chen, the world is in the second phase, from the Soviet collapse to "the basic formation of the new multipolar structure." He writes that during this stage, where "the old structure has already ended, but the new structure has not yet formed, . . . a situation of 'one super (the United States) many strong (the European Union, Japan, Russia, China),' or the so called 1-2-3-5 layered structure has emerged--1 (one superpower, the United States), 2 (two military powers, the United States and Russia), 3 (three economic powers, the United States, Japan, and Europe), 5 (five political powers, the United States, Europe, Japan, Russia, and China)." He foresees the world will be "complex and changeable, turbulent and unstable" until "the beginning of the next century," when "the period of major changes will come to an end, and a new balance will be established." The world will then begin the last phase of the transition, "the formation and finalization of the foundation of the multipolar structure, a stage where a new international political and economic order suited to the requirements of the new structure will be established and adjusted." (108) However, Chen does not predict when the final transition stage will end.

Some analysts have even revised their own estimates. In the early 1990s, Lieutenant General Li Jijun, Vice President of the Academy of Military Science (AMS), wrote, "Because of the fast development and globalization of science, technology and economics, the dispersion of world power will speed up." Therefore, the creation of a " world structure of multipolar coexistence . . . might take 10 or 20 years to take shape." (109) However, a few years later, he extended the timetable for the transition period. "By the mid-21st century, I believe, the world will have gradually built a real multipolar structure and a mature security structure as well so that absolute hegemonism will have declined and this is likely to dictate a global trend in the second half of the 21st century." (110)

Other differences of opinion exist about who will be a pole once the world has gone through its transition period and finally formed a multipolar structure. For example there is the issue of a European pole. Some authors, such as Gao Heng of CASS, believe that Germany as an independent nation will be one of the world's five poles, not the EU. The First Secretary at the Chinese Embassy in Germany, Shang Jin, regards unified Germany as "the biggest winner of the Cold War" and the future overlord of Europe's economy. (111) Several authors assert that Germany is striving for domination of Europe in order to establish itself as a pole. However, it is running into opposition from Britain and France. According to Qi Deguang of CICIR, the struggles among the European powers are manifested through leadership conflicts, such as over how to proceed in the Bosnia crisis. He claims Germany supported the Bosnian Croats in order "seize the leadership of Europe," but France and Britain "would not bow out in favor of Germany." London and Paris therefore "invoked the provision in the German Constitution that forbids Germany from sending its troops abroad" and supported NATO instead. The French and British decision to send peace-keeping troops to Bosnia was also "meant to belittle Germany." (112)

Other analysts argue that while Germany may be the strongest of the Western European nations, it still is no match for the United States; only Europe has that potential. In a study conducted by SIIS, Wang Houkang asserts that none of the Western European nations individually has the power to constitute a pole, but the joint strength of the European Union not only provides it with "pole" qualifications, but once its integration process has progressed and solidified, it will then be able to contend with the United States for global influence:

Each independent country in the European Union, including Germany, which is the most powerful, when viewed globally, is at most a regional power, but the European Union taken as a whole, is a force that can be completely equal to the United States . . . if Europe wants to surpass the United States and play the role of a future world leader, . . . the most important basic condition is European unity. This is to say, Europe must not only realize economic integration, but also political integration, and during this process establish a powerful military force. As of today, the European Community and the European Union still are alliances of sovereign nations. (113)

While noting the difficulties in the integration process and predicting that it will be long in duration, Wang also believes that its eventual completion is inevitable: "The trend of European integration will not stop or reverse, this point is certain." Finally, Wang questions the potential for Europe to be the dominant world power in the future: "In the 18th and 19th centuries, Europe . . . was the acknowledged leader of the world for several hundred years. In the 20th century it declined and the U.S. moved ahead of it. In the 21st century can it rise again? People can not eliminate this possibility." (114) His view is shared by a Senior Research Fellow at CIISS, Shen Guoliang, who writes, "Today not a single country in Europe, including such European powers as Germany, France and Britain, can possibly be independent of European integration and cope with the complex and fierce challenges independently. Europe can only become one of the poles in the world by way of integration and playing a role in the multipolar order." (115)

Whether or not Third World countries will play a significant role in the future multipolar world also is an issue where Chinese authors have differed. Like Yang Dazhou, Chen Qimao believes that the CNP of Third World countries will continue to grow in the early part of the next century but does not see their strength increasing fast enough to allow them to come close to the power of the five poles. Chen, however, predicts that they will rise somewhat more quickly than Yang, "The power of India, Brazil and ASEAN will greatly increase, but until the early 21st century (before 2010) there is no prospect for any of them to become one of the world's poles." (116) In contrast, He Fang estimates that great changes involving Third World countries will have occurred in the world by the end of the next decade. He writes, "The rise of the developing countries shows even more so the irreversible trend of relative U.S. decline. . . . By 2010, seven of the world's ten economic powers will be developing countries. . . . Regional powers will be elevated to world powers and world powers will decline to regional ones." (117)

post-kosovo debate

The NATO strikes on Yugoslavia and the NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in the spring of 1999 have given prominence to the debate concerning the future world structure. One of the biggest outgrowths of the Kosovo crisis and the bombing is that they led to reevaluation of previous assessments of the pace of U.S. decline and the rate at which the world is moving toward multipolarization. It appears that the reformist view, represented by Yang Dazhou, gained support as a result of U.S. and NATO actions in Yugoslavia. A clear post-Kosovo trend has been the number of Chinese authors admitting that the transition to multipolarity has been delayed: "An analysis of the situation at the present stage shows that . . . the deeds of the United States have slowed down the multipolarization process and made it more difficult for the international community to build a new political and economic order in the next century." (118) A key element in the new assessment is the corresponding issue of why the time frame for the transition to the new world structure has been greatly extended--the United States remains powerful. Not only are some authors no longer focusing on current U.S. decline, but rather, they are predicting that its strength may even continue to increase:

The United States, as the sole superpower, occupies a relatively prominent, single, superpower position of domination, and it will for some time maintain the momentum of expansion. . . .Right now multipolarization has lost its momentum for "accelerated development." Multipolarization in the course of history may be more complicated and tortuous than once thought. It would be more appropriate for us to describe today's world as "single-superpower pluralism" than "multiple powers with one superpower." The early part of the 21st century may see a situation characterized by "single superpower domination, and pluralistic disputes." (119)

Chinese authors explain U.S. dominance as stemming from a number of factors. Current U.S. economic and technological superiority is at the top of their list. "The United States is at the peak of a financial monopoly of capital. Moreover, being propelled by a contemporary technological revolution, it is in the leading position in most high and new technological fields, in addition to enjoying relative superiority in the technological industry and economic strength." (120) According to Xiao Lian of the North American Institute at CASS, future U.S. economic domination may last many decades because of the success of U.S. strategy. He gives several reasons. First, "no matter how the European economy is reorganized or integrated, Europe will be unable to control the Japanese and the Asia-Pacific economies unless the United States participates in this process. By the same token, no matter how the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation zone is built, Europe will be unable to play a significant role in the Asia-Pacific economy unless the United States takes part in this process." The second reason Xiao lists is that "United States has all along controlled the WTO [World Trade Organization], the World Bank, and has had a bigger say in the IMF [International Monetary Fund] to date. . . . United States has time and again succeeded in consolidating and enhancing its control over the world economy." This success includes "controlling and manipulating the foreign exchange markets the world over" in order to get "huge profits by virtue of its economic and financial strength and the special position of the U.S. dollar." (121)

Another argument put forward by Chinese authors to explain the delay in multipolarization is that the other poles do not yet have the strength to independently stand up to the United States. For example, Shen Jiru, Director of the International Strategic Studies Office of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at CASS, describes the EU position in international activities rather negatively. He writes, "In world affairs, it has always remained a political shorty and a military dwarf. . . .So far, the EU has yet to develop any independent defense strength which can be of some real use; and the EU still has to largely depend on NATO for its defense." (122) Consequently, Chinese authors assert, the United States has taken advantage of the relative weakness of European countries and Japan to create some powerful alliances. These partnerships are an additional factor boosting current American dominance. One author stated, "Internationally, the United States has formed a collective hegemonist alliance, turning some international political, economic, and military organizations into U.S. tools for hegemony." (123) Shen Jiru agrees, claiming that it is an "ill omen that the unipolar world dominance of the United States takes the form of a U.S.-Europe and a U.S.-Japanese joint hegemony." According to Shen, because the U.S. share of the world economy will drop in the future, "this means that its economy will be unable to provide adequate backing for its hegemonist practices," so it must rely on its allies to maintain its superiority. "In order to establish a unipolar global dominance, the United States needs a group of helpers no matter whether it is viewed from the political, economic, or military angle." However, Shen cautions, while "this group of helpers"-- NATO and Japan--may "look like joint hegemony outwardly," it "is actually dominated by the United States in reality; in other words, a unipolar hegemony still dominated by the United States. Such a practice can considerably prolong the life of the U.S.-dominated unipolar hegemony and greatly put off the formation of a multipolar world setup." (124)

Other Chinese analysts, while recognizing that the pace of the multipolarization process has decreased, and predicting further increases in U.S. power, also emphasize that the current trend does not mean that the U.S. will be able to establish a unipolar world. It is only a setback in the transition to a new world structure: "For the world to advance toward multipolarization is the inevitable trend of history. Although twists and turns and ups and downs may occur in the process of the development of this trend, no force can block the tide of development of multipolarization." (125) Another author writes:

A few years ago, people were over-optimistic about the "multipolar" trend. They thought that the "multipolar" trend would "move faster and faster." Some even thought that the multipolar world had already taken shape. After NATO use of force against Yugoslavia and its attack on the Chinese Embassy, some people went to the other extreme and believed that the 'unipolar' trend now reigned supreme and the world remained a unipolar world. Both views are rather biased. Judging from the present situation, the multipolar pattern has not yet taken shape, but the trend cannot be changed. Recent developments only serve to show that the trend of multipolarism is obviously slowing down and that the U.S. pole will be further strengthened, but the plots of the United States to build a "unipolar world" where it can dominate everything can never succeed. (126)

The reason cited by most authors for the ultimate success of multipolarization is that the other poles will become more powerful and come into greater conflict with the United States: "The true essence and the vital point of the U.S. pursuit of hegemonism is to establish an international order under U.S. dominance, but the developing countries will not allow this, and even its allies will not allow it." (127) Another author writes, "Although cooperation and coordination between Europe and the United States are obviously growing, conflicts and differences remain," and asserts that the same situation also applies to the U.S. relationship with Japan. (128) Zhang Zhaozhong, Director of the Science and Technology Teaching and Research Section of NDU, concurs: "NATO is by no means totally united, and it is certain that splits will occur in the future, and multipolarization remains a trend. France will not follow the United States for ever, Germany has become stronger since reunification and it too is not willing to always follow the United States; since the Europeans have organized the euro, this will naturally match the dollar." (129)

shanghai's elaborate studies

The "orthodox" features of the future security environment can be found in many books and articles of the 1990s, but those from Shanghai frequently are very thorough and elaborate. According to interviews conducted by the author in Beijing, open-source assessments are based on internal Chinese Government documents approved by Deng Xiaoping in the mid-1980s. Several officials pointed out that President Jiang Zemin has endorsed all the features of Deng's assessment. SIIS has a close relationship with Jiang, developed while he was mayor of Shanghai. Perhaps because of this personal relationship (and because Shanghai is far from the rigid, official climate of Beijing), SIIS publications often provide extensive details about the future security environment. (130) SIIS publications, particularly those by its President Chen Qimao, who has also written articles for Qiu Shi, the journal of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, are authoritative and add greater detail and background about the future security environment. (131) It is possible that the view from Shanghai tends to be both orthodox and elaborate, because scholars there can draw more from Central Committee documents, or maybe because they helped draft these documents and therefore have been permitted leeway to present them.

An example of the extensive details of the future world structure provided by SIIS can be found in "The Roots of the Transitional Era," which focuses on turbulence and wars. Former SIIS President Chen Qimao states,

Historically speaking, the disintegration of an empire is a long and painful process. The Eastern Roman Empire began to decline at the end of the 12th century and was destroyed by the Ottoman Empire in 1461. The whole process took more than 200 years, during which class conflicts were intensifying, [and] . . . invasions from the outside constantly took place. (132)

Chen then compares the decline of the Ottoman Empire to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Chen points out that the full process of the decline of the former Soviet Union is not complete. He notes that there are still 25 million Russians living in republics outside Russia and 20 million other nationalities in Russia. He forecasts, "Due to the rise of nationalism, this situation may lead to a great deal of explosive potential." The process of reform and the completion of the process of disintegration of the former Soviet Union, Chen argues, will "become one of the important causes of turbulence in the transitional era." He reminds us that the former Soviet Union was a superpower and in World War II it "utterly routed the imperial fascist Germany."

Chen draws on several episodes of Chinese history to illustrate how the process of the emergence of a new era can take many decades. He begins with the decline of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 B.C.-220 A.D.) to the establishment of the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316 A.D.), a period of about 80 years during which the "war lords fought each other, the Three Kingdoms dominated their own territories, while the masses lived in dire poverty." China saw another long period of turbulence when the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) collapsed.

Looking to the several decades that lie ahead for the emergence of a post-Cold War world strategic pattern, Chen points to Central Eurasia as a conflict zone where "religious frictions and national disputes are interlocking, leading to a lot of historic grievances." This is also where two world wars were fought. This whole zone in the past century or more has been dominated by tsarist Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Austro-Hungarian Empires. According to Chen, contradictions among these three empires produced several wars. He states, "Territorial issues were always so sensitive that a little disturbance could have resulted in enormous turbulence, thus leading to the danger of another world war." Chen adheres to the concept put forth by many Chinese analysts that the Vienna System built upon the Anti-Napoleon War, the Versailles System established after World War I, and the Yalta System built upon World War II created new political maps and divided spheres of influence among the great powers relatively rapidly, because of the international conference agreements that these great powers were able to work out after the wars.

Without such a war or international conference to mark the end of the Cold War, Chen states that a new world system cannot be created by way of victorious powers' conferences, "nor can spheres of influence be divided quickly." Thus, Chen believes violence is ahead, and the "re-division of spheres of influence will be a long-term and tortuous process . . . the struggle among big powers for spheres of influence is under way." Russia wants to maintain as its sphere all its former Soviet boundaries, while "there is little doubt that Western nations want to have East European countries joining NATO and to put them under the protection of the West." Besides the struggle for redividing spheres of influence in Europe, Chen states that "struggles between the United States and Japan for the dominating role in the Asia-Pacific as well as struggles among Germany, France, and Britain for the dominating role in Europe have not yet surfaced, but they do demonstrate themselves through a series of signs." Such struggles involve re-division of influence spheres and "will become significant roots for the emergence of turbulence in the transitional world."

In Europe, Chen agrees with many Chinese analysts that Germany was the major winner of the Cold War and has the best prospects to become a great power in the new era. He traces the origins of the Bosnia Conflict to "Germany's support for the independence of Slovenia and Croatia, without taking into account American objections and other European allies' reservations. Germany also went together with Austria to supply a great deal of weapons to Slovenia and Croatia, quickening the pace of disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and aggravating the turbulence in the Balkan Peninsula." However, Chen goes on to use the Bosnia case study as an "indirect demonstration of the struggle between the United States and the European Union" over who will dominate the future of Europe.

Chen, like many Chinese analysts, directly attacks the concept that the United States is the sole superpower and that there is a unipolar strategic pattern. Will there be American hegemony? According to Chen, "Enormous facts emerging after the end of the Cold War have proved that kind of view wrong." He believes that many issues "demonstrate that America's ability to control its allies has decreased." However, "The Yalta System in the Asia-Pacific region was not so complete and solid as that in Europe." Chen argues that a looser, multipolar system has long existed in Asia because of the American failure in the Vietnam War and the Soviet failure in the Afghan War, which reduced the two superpowers' influence. He states, "Their capacity to control the region was already much less than that in Europe. Because of these developments, many contradictions and disputes in the Asia-Pacific region were not covered by the bipolar system." Of course, he acknowledges that the Asia-Pacific region has a number of uncertainties, such as territorial disputes, the Korean problem, the Taiwan issue, and the leadership succession in several countries. However, the region has actually become a place where "the centers not only are relatively independent but also in mutual check and balance" among the United States, Russia, Japan, China, and ASEAN.

Using the indicators of CNP (described in chapter 5), Chen believes that "the heyday when the United States dominated the Asia-Pacific region has gone forever." Thus, the multipolar structure has begun to take shape earlier in the Asia-Pacific than in other regions of the world, so that it's possible already to say that "no single power can have the final say in the Asia-Pacific region." This has been achieved without a Yalta, a Versailles, or a Vienna conference. The role of China has become a source of regional stability because of its rapid economic growth and its adherence to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Chen believes China's role has been important in encouraging this transition to take shape in Asia first.

Chen's argument that the rise of China will bring peace and stability is strengthened by an article from another former SIIS President, Liang Yufan. Liang states that because China was the "prey of imperialist aggression for more than a century, the rivalry of great powers inside China was once a major cause of persistent instability and turmoil and wars in East Asia." The implication is that a strong, unified China eliminates the influence of foreign great powers (who caused wars), so Chinese stability will help to end the era of transition and bring the new era to East Asia first. (133)

fifty-year structures

One of the important premises on which Chinese assessments about the future security environment are based is the concept of "world structures" (zhanlue shijie geju). (134) This term is used to refer to the design of the world pattern, which, according to Chinese, generally exists for several decades before undergoing a major transformation. Each "world structure" is based on the organization and state of relations among the great nations in the world. The process by which one world strategic pattern gives away to another usually is a major war. One author writes, "A world pattern is the relatively stable international structure formed by the interrelations and interaction between the main forces in the world during a certain historical period. . . . The changes in the world pattern are based on the changes in the relations of the world's main contradictions, and they accompany international and social phenomena such as turbulence, division, alignment and crises, that result in conflicts and war." (135) The basic Chinese catechism identifies four major "world strategic patterns" during the past 200 years. One scholar at CICIR has put together a grid (table 2) illustrating characteristics of the world order in the 20th century.

Table 2. International Security Systems in the 20th Century

Systems and Models
Between World War I & II Post World War II


International relations systems Multipolar system Bipolar system Bipolar, pluralist system Pluralist coexistence system
Types of war or disputes World War Cold War and local war Cold War, local war, and economic war Economic disputes, national and religious wars
International security models Military alliance and balance of power Military blocs and nuclear deterrence Alliance, nuclear deterrence, and balance of power U.N. and multilateral security dialogue
Goals Domain and colony Orbit and global hegemony Comprehensive strength of state Comprehensive strength and social stability
Decisive factors of forces Military and diverse empires Military and two superpowers Military, economic and pluralist powers Economic, pluralist harmony and military force
World economic systems Plantation system and discriminatory economic blocs Two large closed markets of socialism and capitalism Transitional global market economy Harmony of globalism and regionalism in world economy
Nature of international relations Struggle for hegemony Power politics Power politics and interdependence Interdependence and power politics

Source: Liu Jiangyong, "On the Establishment of Asia-Pacific Multilateral Security Dialogue Mechanism," Contemporary International Relations 4, no. 2 (February 1994): 32. Liu is a Senior Fellow and Director of the East Asia Division at CICIR.

The first world structure, called the "Vienna System" by the Chinese, lasted 40 to 50 years and was set up by the victorious nations who defeated Napoleon. These four powers (Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Britain) established a world structure that was centered entirely on Europe and characterized by mutual bargaining and the use of "spheres of influence" to preserve stability. The second structure, which also lasted 40 to 50 years, was created by internal events in Japan, Italy, Germany, and the United States that destroyed "the original proportions and distributions of strength" and in so doing broke out of the strategic configuration confined to Europe. (136) Although still centered on Europe, this new pattern also expanded to North America and Asia. Briefly, the major developments were the rapid advancement of capitalism in the United States after the Civil War, the Meiji Restoration in Japan, and the political unification of Italy, as well as the unification of Germany in 1870 and its defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871.

The third world structure derived from the conduct of the powers that won World War I. In a manner similar to the creation of the Vienna System Pattern, the new Versailles System was established by the strong victorious powers (the United States, Britain, France, Italy, and Japan). As had occurred with the Vienna Conference after the Napoleonic Wars, the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 "redivided the world" and laid down the rules for the next "era." However, the October Revolution established the Soviet Union in this period and Moscow participated in the Versailles System, which "broke the pattern whereby imperialism ruled the whole world." (137) When discussing this era, several Chinese authors refer to it as the Versailles-Washington System, arguing that the three major treaties signed at the Washington Conference of 1921 played a major role in shaping the world structure of the time. (138)

The fourth world structure is known in China as the Yalta System, a name derived from the Yalta Summit involving the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union in February 1945. Most Chinese claim this conference "carved out the spheres of influence in Europe and Asia for the United States and the Soviet Union." With respect to China, the Yalta Summit included Soviet recognition of "U.S. control over Japan," while the United States in turn "satisfied the Soviet Union's wishes to regain Sakhalin Island, enabled Outer Mongolia to become independent, and enlisted northeast China into the sphere of influence." (139) The Chinese state that the decline of British strength reduced its sphere of influence, so that the Yalta System actually established a world structure of two poles, Washington and Moscow, whose relationship largely determined world politics. The Yalta System endured until 1991, nearly 50 years. Because the core of the Yalta Agreement was the division of Europe and Germany into two parts, Chinese date the end of the Yalta System to the reunification of Germany in 1991. Although the Chinese say the Yalta System has "basically disintegrated," they recognize it continues in Northeast Asia in the division between North Korea and South Korea and in the unresolved territorial dispute between Moscow and Tokyo over the northern territories. There have been some Chinese references to the unresolved problem of Taiwan's sovereignty also being a part of the Yalta System because Taiwan's legal status was not resolved either at Yalta or the 1951 San Francisco Peace Conference.

Within a world structure there is also what is known as a world order (shijie zhixu), or the ways and means by which nations interact and deal with each other:

A world structure refers to a relatively stable international framework and strategic situation formed on the foundation of a certain power balance. A world order then refers to, on the basis of the world structure, the mechanisms and rules of the motion of international relations (such as handling international affairs and international contact). The two have both generalities (both take the power balance as their base) and differences (they do not adapt to one another; if the old structure collapses, the old order probably continues to exist). (140)

future wars

Rivalries, Struggles, and Local Wars

The future world structure will depend on the outcomes of competitions in both military strength and CNP. The struggle for "peace and development" will shift the competitive rank orders of various nations according to their CNP, which is based on the economic and technology policies they pursue. At the same time, in the military domain there are different rules to the international competition, including the use of force and the competition for military superiority. This field has been addressed primarily by military authors in China, although a few civilian analysts have also written about the consequences of local war and the development of military technology. (141)

The rivalries and struggles to achieve CNP and military superiority will greatly contribute to the turbulence that characterizes the transition period, say Chinese analysts. As a consequence, the "new era" will feature destabilizing factors and inevitable local wars that will last for several decades. In fact, many Chinese articles mention the current trend of "relaxation," and then warn that there are prospects for more wars in the future. Three NDU analysts write, "The overall situation is one in which frequent regional conflicts are the outcome of the changing strategic pattern and international political disorder." (142)

The certainty of future local wars does not seem to be debated. On the contrary, all Chinese analysts expect frequent local wars in the decades ahead. Liao Yonghe of CASS writes, "With the further reduction of the danger of a global world war, regional armed conflicts and limited wars will become the main field of military conflict." (143) In the available literature, the definition of local war includes the conflicts in Korea (1950-53), Vietnam (1964-69), and the Gulf War (1991). This is an important premise of Chinese views of the future security environment: international wars on at least the scale of Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War are virtually certain in the decades ahead. Furthermore, there are many explicit references to the level of destruction caused by each of these past local wars. Different measures of destructiveness have been used, including logistics. In 3 years of war in Korea, 600,000 bombs were used; Vietnam required twice that number; and the Gulf War consumed nearly 8 million tons of supplies. Chinese articles on the "revolution in science and technology" expect future wars to have still higher levels of destruction.

Not only have Chinese authors noted that the intensity and scope of local wars are escalating, but they cite another major trend in the accelerating frequency with which they have been occurring since the Cold War period. According to Li Zhongcheng of CICIR, "In the 40 years of the Cold War, there were 190 regional conflicts, an average of four per year. In the first 7 years after the end of the Cold War there were 193, an average of 28 per year, seven times that of the former year average." (144) Other authors, in order to predict future trends, have tracked the specific number of conflicts per year, distinguishing between wars that are new and those that are continuations from the previous year. Li Qinggong, a Research Fellow at CIISS, writes,

Throughout the world in 1997 there were altogether 38 armed conflicts and local wars of various scales, an increase of 8 in comparison with the 30 that occurred in 1996, but a decrease of 8 from the 46 that took place in the peak year of 1995. Of all these local conflicts and wars, 8 new ones occurred in 1997, an increase of 2 in comparison with the number of 6 in 1996, but a decrease of 8 in comparison with the number of 16 at the peak time of 1993. . . . This shows that after the Cold War, conflicts and wars have passed the "frequently occurring period" and entered the "period of ups and downs," with the new feature of "sometimes many, sometimes few, sometimes rising, sometimes falling." (145)

In contrast to Western nations, there appear to be few Chinese articles or books on the international security situation that express optimism about the future role of arms control or the United Nations in building international trust or reducing the probability of the use of force. Since 1980, China has entered global economic institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund but has never accepted the jurisdiction of international security arrangements such as U.N. peacekeeping forces. (146)

Chinese authors appear to assume other nations share their views about the future role of military force. Chinese assessments about future military competition suggest they see other countries preparing themselves for the era of regional wars. For example, an article by two PLA analysts claims that the United States thinks "a new threat surpassing the confrontation between the East and the West in the past 45 years" is emerging. With regard to Russia, they argue, "The Russian military thinks that the process of easing up does not have an irreversible nature and that the danger of war still exists in the world." Japan, they assert, "faces military threats and serious competitors. Therefore, Japan will continue to beef up military strength and improve weapons and equipment." Concerning India, the PLA analysts claim that India thinks "India's security situation in the 1990s is still very grim, therefore it will continue to improve overall military strength and strategic deterrence strength." During the transition era some PLA analysts thus conclude that various countries "view the use of military strength as an important means to support their international status and safeguard their national interests." (147)

After the U.S. accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, some authors seemed to question whether the main trend of the times still is peace and development. For example, Yang Chengxu, President of CIIS, writes, "Simply put, NATO will have the right to interfere anywhere in the world. As an ideological organization, it is laying down some hidden troubles for the outbreak of World War III. The world has become more turbulent." (148) An article in Zhongguo Pinglun, which interviewed generals from several military research institutes, brought up a similar issue, warning that "China must be ready to fight a world war." It said, "after NATO attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Chinese strategists believe that before peacetime truly comes, world war could erupt at any moment. China must be fully prepared for it." (149) However, although the potential for a third world war was mentioned following U.S. and NATO actions in Yugoslavia, the majority of Chinese authors still claim that ultimately peace and development will prevail. Shen Jiru of CASS argues, "The military actions taken by NATO will hardly change the general trend of peace and development" for three reasons:

As before the Kosovo crisis, Chinese analysts maintain the seeming contradiction that regional wars will continue to exist even though peace and development are the main trend. "For the 21st century, peace and development will still be the theme of the times. We should not doubt or waver in this judgment. . . . However, limited war will be unavoidable since the roots of war will still be there." (151)

Sources of Wars

What will be the causes of the regional wars that will occur throughout the transition period as the new world structure is in the process of replacing the old one? Where will they take place? Who will be involved? Chinese analysts explain the outbreak of local wars in the 1990s as having two major reasons: first, the ethnic, religious, historical, and territorial disputes previously covered up and restricted by the U.S.-Soviet confrontation were free to emerge following the end of the Cold War; and second, as the new world structure is forming, there is competition and contention for power, influence, and economic resources. As the transition period progresses, the hot spots where local wars are focused will not be static but are expected to shift as some conflicts come to an end and new ones emerge, and as relations between the powers develop. Former SIIS president Chen Qimao explains:

These hot spots must go through a process, from breaking out, to intensifying, to relaxing, to resolution. Currently, their development still is not very even; some have already relaxed, some are intensifying, some have just broken out, some have not yet shown their heads; they still are in a stage where "as one falls another rises.". . . Internationally, following the end of the Cold War, the various forces have been re-dividing and uniting, and relations between the powers are very unstable, which also is a very significant source of the turbulence in the transformation period. Therefore, the current world still is not stable. (152)

Consequently, the local wars will occur for a variety of reasons, with the participants ranging from small groups to major powers, and at locations worldwide.

Several Chinese authors have suggested that the fault lines of future war in the multipolar security environment will not be the same as during the bipolar Soviet-American confrontation. Following the end of the Cold War, the main area where local wars were focused was in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. However, most Chinese analysts, while not predicting protracted peace and stability, consider the region's turmoil and armed conflicts to have subsided to some extent and see the main local war hot spot as shifting to Africa. A People's Daily article reported that for 1997, "According to statistics, nearly half of all the local wars that took place worldwide this year happened in Africa. . . . Though these conflicts were of the nature of civil wars and were local, they have nevertheless posed a certain threat to peace and stability and have caused the concern of the international community." (153) Chinese analysts do not foresee the problems in Africa disappearing any time in the near future and expect that there will continue to be frequent wars. For example, Li Zhongcheng of CICIR writes, "At the turn of the century, and the early part of next century, it is extremely possible that there will appear in the African Great Lake region a situation where as one racial or sectional conflict ends another begins." (154) The Middle East is another area mentioned by Li and other authors as a current hot spot:

The Palestinian-Israeli peace process can only through repeated reversals slowly progress. At the same time, aside from the Palestinian-Israeli and Arab-Israeli contradictions, other Middle Eastern regional conflicts will gradually develop and intensify, becoming the sources of the Middle Eastern region's continued turbulence and intranquility, and its continued and frequent regional conflicts. (155)

Many Chinese analysts point out that the proliferation of local ethnic, religious, and territorial wars has not meant that the major powers have not been involved in the conflicts. In fact, a number of analysts cite hegemonism and military interventionism as contributing to and exacerbating local wars. Wang Xuhe of the Strategy Department at AMS stated, "The factors threatening international security are pluralizing, becoming more complicated, and have more layers, but hegemonism and power politics will for a considerably long period still be the major threats to international security." (156) With regard to the two current hot spots, Africa and the Middle East, Chen Feng, a Senior Research Fellow at CIISS, writes,

The conflicts in Africa and the Middle East have their respective causes, e.g., the complicated ethnic or cultural contradictions, frontier resource disputes and internal struggles, etc. However, if analyzed from a deeper perspective, these conflicts reflect the struggle to control these regions between the great powers. Conflicts in these regions all have the intervention from those powers involved. The United States, making full use of the chance that France had adjusted its African policy, tried various means to create its own agents in Africa and to drive the French forces out of its sphere of influence. In the Middle East, because the U.S. policy is biased toward Israel, it has put the peace process in a stalemate, and its influence in the Arab world has declined. (157)

Other examples of hegemonism and intervention on the part of the major powers are cited by another CIISS Research Fellow, Li Qinggong: the United States sending aircraft carriers to the Gulf when Iran crossed the "restricted airspace" to attack Iraq's Kurdish region; in Bosnia, "the U.S. peacekeeping forces clashing with local people and shooting a number of Serbian residents"; the United States "sending an 'expeditionary air force' to Bosnia to terrorize psychologically the Serbian people;" and France "continuously engaging in military intervention against the Republic of Central Africa." (158)

Following NATO military strikes against Yugoslavia in spring 1999, there was a tremendous increase in criticism and alarm about U.S. hegemonism being a source of war. One author writes, "Hegemonism and power politics are still developing, and there will be no peace under heaven in the 21st century." (159) Wang Jincun, a senior researcher at CASS portrays the United States as "striving to build a single-polar world and to strengthen its hegemony." After the U.S. accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Wang wrote that the United States is employing military methods as one means for achieving its goal: "What deserves more attention is that the United States, not yet satisfied with its Cold War achievements, seeks to gain more advances through military means. Therefore, there has appeared an even closer growing link between the new Cold War and 'hot war.' The military interference by the United States in Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the bombing against Sudan and Afghanistan, and especially the ongoing air strikes against Yugoslavia, serve as prominent examples." (160)

Chu Shulong of CICIR pointed out, "The number of times and the frequency with which the United States has used force in various parts of the world in just a few years have rarely been seen before in the history of U.S. foreign policy and in the history of international relations." (161) An explanation offered by one author for the sudden increase in U.S. intervention is that it has a "Gulf War syndrome:" "The United States, the world's sole superpower, developed a 'Vietnam syndrome' on account of its defeat with heavy casualties in the Vietnam war, and became careful and cautious for a time about getting involved in overseas conflicts. Success in the 1991 Gulf War produced a 'Gulf War syndrome' in the United States and it became enthusiastic about military intervention activities." (162) One article noted that, "Since 1990, the United States has dispatched troops more than 40 times, and 10 of them were strong military interventions." It concludes, "Given the large amount of indisputable evidence, the United States has become the world's major source of war by its arms expansion and implementation of hegemonism and power politics, and it has become a major threat to the world's peace. It is predictable that more countries will become test spots for the high- and new-technology weapons of the United States and the victims of its war machine." (163)

For Chinese analysts, the question is not whether the U.S. will once again interfere overseas, but where. In its pursuit of global hegemony and a unipolar world order, U.S. military intervention is expected to continue to occur throughout the transition period. According to Colonel Zhang Zhaozhong of NDU, "Gangster logic is now emerging ever more prominently. We should realize from this that at the turn of the century we are in an extremely unstable strategic pattern, and the United States is also testing the water. At present it is in midstream, not knowing if it can get to the opposite bank and whether there will be any dangerous rocks or reefs. I believe that this testing of the water will go on for several years, and we need to observe whether Chechnya or the Korean peninsula will be next." (164) An article in the Liberation Army Daily, after asserting that U.S. "gunboat policy will inevitably lead to endless wars and disorder all over the world," predicted that U.S. military interference may not be limited to smaller nations in the future. "The target today may be a small nation, but it could be a big country tomorrow! The target may be Kosovo today, but it could be any country that does not meet U.S. desires tomorrow. . . . War increasingly will become the major means adopted by the United States to establish a polarized pattern. Wars are not far away from us." (165)

In addition to hegemonism and power politics and ethnic, religious, and territorial reasons, Chinese analysts see the struggle for economic resources as another major source contributing to local wars in the transition era. As Colonel Liu Mingde states, "The Marxists hold that the conflict of economic interests is the root of war." He explains that the Arab-Israeli dispute "has to do with Israel's heavy reliance on the Jordan River" and that the Iran-Iraq war and the Gulf War were about petroleum. Similarly, the civil war in Yugoslavia is a war between the "poor" Serbs and the "rich" Slovaks and Croats. Liu concludes, "Competition in Comprehensive National Power has aggravated the scrambling for resources among nations." (166) An even bleaker forecast about the rivalry over economic resources is predicted by He Xin, who draws an analogy to the Warring States era of Chinese history:

The energy and natural resources crises of the early 21st century will unavoidably lead to the economic decline of industrial countries, and cause the intensification of economic and political wars as countries contend for natural resources and markets. In this situation, the world probably will enter a new "Cold War" (economic, political war), even a "Warring States era" with numerous local and regional hot wars emerging. (167)

It is this struggle for economic resources that could lead to direct conflicts between the major powers. While many Chinese authors imply that there will not be a war among the five major powers, that they very likely will participate in the regional wars but probably not against each other, there is another viewpoint that believes the potential for conflict exists. (168) Three analysts at the Strategy Institute at NDU write, "The majority of regional conflicts in the world are civil wars, social turmoil, and civil coups. Although there are influence and interference from some other countries, these interventions do not develop into military confrontations between large countries." However, they warn that, "Potential conflict areas do exist that may possibly involve direct military confrontations between large countries or regional powers. If large-scale armed conflicts and local wars happen in these regions, it can result in drastic changes in the world situation and harm the global strategic situation." (169)

A likely area for future conflict among the powers will be Central Asia where "abundant natural resources will become the target of a struggle" between the major powers. Yang Shuheng from the U.S. Institute at CASS writes that the United States wants the region's energy resources, but Russia is unwilling to "drop to the status of a second-rank country" and will resist the United States. However, pursuing economic interests is not the only U.S. goal in the region--another is "squeezing Russia out." (170) She explains, "The rivalry over the Caspian Sea region's oil and natural gas . . . is part of the U.S.-Russian rivalry over strategic interests and spheres of influence in the Eurasian hinterland." Yang predicts, "The number of countries involved will increase. The European Union also regards the Central Asian region as an energy resources base that can replace the Gulf in the future . . . . International forces covet the treasure chest that is Central Asia." (171)

The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was seen by a number of Chinese authors as part of the organization's efforts to gain influence and control in the region. Li Yonggang, a scholar at the Chinese Society for Strategy and Management, says geopolitical, economic, and energy interests were the motivations for NATO actions, for once NATO controlled the Balkans it had a direct path to Central Asia. He writes,

"From the angle of geopolitics, Kosovo is located in the middle of the Balkan Peninsula, which is situated among the three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa; as such, Kosovo has a decisive strategic position. To NATO, with control over the Balkans, it can advance westward to the Mediterranean and North Atlantic, and southward, it can consolidate the 'southern wing of NATO,' offering a link to its strategy in the Middle East. Eastward in the region of Black Sea and Caspian Sea, that is, the region of outer Caucasus and Central Asia, NATO can infiltrate, expand, and weaken and push out the power and influence of Russia."

"Viewed from the angle of economic interests, NATO European powers have been quietly, secretly enthusiastic about getting through the Balkan corridor in the south to extend their sphere of economic influence to Central Asia and even further. . . . Although the European powers are still in line with the United States on several important issues, the building of a united, powerful, and eventually independent Europe to contend with the United States is still the long-term strategy of these countries. . . . Once the Euro has reached the bank of the Caspian Sea, it can enter the hinterland of Russia and can also come into contact with the five countries in Central Asia. This will have an extremely far-reaching political, economic, and cultural significance. This is the general political, economic, and financial strategy of Europe."

An additional source of instability in Central Asia has been pointed out by Gao Heng of CASS, who believes that "the development of Islamic resurgence activities" could lead to conflict. (173) Moreover, Chen Feng of CIISS argues that the contention in Central Asia could be exacerbated by the military activities and exercises of foreign troops. For example, when the United States, "for the first time since the end of World War II, sent regular troops (more than 500 personnel of one battalion under the 82nd Airborne Division) to the region to take part in military maneuvers, it indicated that the struggle to control the region between the big powers has spread from economic and political fields to military and security fields." (174)

Central Asia is one of two regions Chinese analysts predict will emerge as a new hot spot in the future; the other is the Asia-Pacific. (175) There are, however, differing views concerning the potential for future wars in the latter region. While some authors are concerned about the possibility that major conflicts could erupt, others emphasize the recent greater stability in the Asia-Pacific as compared to other parts of the globe. Zhang Changtai, a Research Fellow at CIISS believes, "In a relatively stable security environment, the Asia-Pacific remains one of the regions in the world with fewer cases of armed conflicts and such a situation can still be maintained in the years to come." His views are backed up by the few number of local wars in the region. He writes:

For a long time, especially in the post-Cold War era, the Asia-Pacific has all along been a comparatively stable region. Statistics show that in 1991 prior to the end of the Cold War, 29 armed conflicts and local wars occurred in the world, out of which 6 were in the Asia-Pacific. In 1997 the total number of armed conflicts in the world increased to 38, while it was kept to 6 in the Asia-Pacific, namely the internal armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines and Myanmar, as well as that between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. The armed conflicts in the Asia-Pacific not only remain the least in the world, but also have decreased to some extent in intensity. (176)

However, many authors argue that despite the low number of local wars and greater stability in the 1990s, there still is serious potential for the Asia-Pacific to become a hot spot.

Chen Peiyao, president of SIIS has pointed out, "During the Cold War, East Asia was the region where military conflicts and local wars were constantly seen. The end of the Cold War did not bring an end to all the regional problems." (177) His argument is furthered by Shen Qurong of CICIR, who states, "The Cold War in the postwar Asia-Pacific was never 'cold' and peace in post-Cold War Asia-Pacific has been only lukewarm. The issue of regional peace awaits a fundamental solution. Beneath the surface of relative stability lie destabilizing factors. . . . In the 50 postwar years, the two largest local wars in the world both broke out in the Asia-Pacific region . . . the Asia-Pacific has now entered a stage of 'Cold Peace.' " (178) According to Li Zhongcheng, of CICIR, major issues such as the Korean peninsula, Taiwan, the Nansha Islands, and the Diaoyu islands "make it clear that in the East Asia-Pacific region there exists the kindling for regional conflicts." (179)

The Japanese parliament's adoption of the U.S.-Japan Security Guidelines, in spring 1999, also is considered to be a source of future conflicts. Not only does it signify the rise of militarism in Japan, considered by some to be a serious potential factor for instability in the region, but it also "increased the capacity of the U.S. military to intervene in the Asia-Pacific . . . [for] without Japan as a forward base, U.S. military forces would have to retreat east to Hawaii and south to Australia." Lu Guangye, a fellow at the Chinese National Defense Strategic Institute, claims that together with NATO, the U.S.-Japanese military alliance has become one of "the two black hands helping the tyrant to do evil." He sees NATO military strikes in Yugoslavia and the bombing of the Chinese embassy as omens of future U.S. and Japanese actions. "Everything that NATO does can be regarded as the most direct and most realistic mirror of what we understand as the substance of the Japanese-US military alliance and of how Japan and the United States will act in the Asia-Pacific region. The 'experiment' carried out in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by US-led NATO also provides a vivid example for the Asia-Pacific countries." (180)

Another potential cause of war in the Asia-Pacific has to do with China's rise as a global power. Several authors have written about U.S. efforts in the next decade or two to contain China's development and prevent its rise in international affairs. Colonel Zhang Zhaozhong of NDU was asked in an interview why he considered "the next 10 to 15 years will be the most difficult and most important period in China's development." His reply was, "The United States has already realized that this is the best period for containing China, and so it produces stuff like the theory of the Chinese threat to suppress China. If the United States is unable to curb the momentum of China's development in the next 10 to 20 years, it will have wasted a lot of effort. During this period, therefore, the United States may devise all kinds of ways to cause trouble." However, Colonel Zhang does not foresee China and the United States going to war in the near term. "Unless there are major changes over Taiwan or other issues, the United States at present does not have the gall to take the initiative in attacking China's territory. But we must be vigilant." (181) Chu Shulong of CICIR also predicts that efforts to contain China could lead to problems, "Negative and extremist trends in U.S. domestic politics, external strategy, and diplomacy toward China are extremely dangerous for world peace and development and for the present and future of Sino-US relations." (182) These views are echoed in the yearly Study Reports on the International Situation--1997-1998, published by the Chinese Society for Strategy and Management, where Yan Xuetong of CICIR warns of potential conflicts between China and the United States, as China's power increases and the "desperate" United States struggles to maintain its leading position:

In history, the rise of a new world power often leads to large-scale international wars, but these wars are not necessarily caused by the expansion of a rising power. Some of them resulted from the military policies of a hegemonic power in maintaining its hegemony. The U.S.-British War (1812-1814) is a typical example. In order to constrain the rise of the United States, Britain blocked American shipments to Europe . . . (just like) the case of the U.S. blocking Chinese ships, such as the Yinhe event of 1993. (183)

The predictions of Yan and others tend to modify Deng Xiaoping's earlier assertion, discussed below, that China will never be a "source" of war. Yan and many authors are worried that the United States could somehow force a war upon China in order to contain its rise or dismember its territory.

Deng Xiaoping Thought

In the mid-1980s, Deng Xiaoping apparently described, in still-unreleased documents, four alternative scenarios, each of which was based on a different "basic contradiction" that would characterize the new era. He summarized a series of major conflicts in the world that might lead to war in four Chinese characters: "East, West, South, and North." The first set of conflicts, East-West, is posited as the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union--that is, between socialism and capitalism; the second scenario suggests West-West conflicts between developed capitalist countries; in the third scenario South-North conflicts are between the developing Third World countries and the developed capitalist countries; and the fourth alternative view sees South-South conflicts as differences between Third World countries that can lead to warfare. In 1989 Deng predicted that two of these sets of conflicts could result in new Cold Wars. "I hope the Cold War will end, but I am disappointed. Perhaps when one cold war ends, two more cold wars have already started. One is directed against the south and the third world, the other against socialism." (184)

A crucial part of Deng's formulation of the sources of future warfare is that China will never be a source of war, nor does China aspire to become a superpower, even though Chinese officials since 1988 have explicitly accepted the Iklé-Wohlstetter Commission estimate that China will have the world's largest economy around 2020. The one exception to these comments on the sources of war appears to be Taiwan; many authors echo the long-standing question of Taiwan's status as a national threat. According to Gao Heng of the usually moderate CASS,

If Taiwan (no matter what name or form it uses) publicly or officially flies a "Taiwan independence" flag, it will lead to a major crisis in relations between the two shores. On that occasion, if the United States, Japan, or other countries publicly intervene, it will lead to a serious armed conflict, or escalate to a local war. Its influence will go beyond the Asia-Pacific region, and have global and historical impact. (185)

china's role in multipolarity

Chinese analysts assert that China need not be purely passive but can assist the trend toward multipolarity and increase its pace. For example, it can help Europe move toward becoming a pole. One author argues that the EU wants to play a bigger international role as a "powerful independent pole" in an unfolding multipolar world, so it is "seeking at the same time to tighten its bond with the world's major powers," and issued an important policy document entitled, Building a Comprehensive Partnership with China, in March 1997. Feng Zhongping of CICIR calls this "a strategic partnership." According to Feng, this new relationship with China will "help the EU in its long cherished endeavor to assert itself on the world stage and become an independent 'pole' in world affairs." The reason the EU can become a "pole" is because of "China's status in the unfolding world power balance." (186) A similar argument is put forward by Shen Yihui, who states that "the EU needs to count on China for support," because "West Europe's building closer ties with China will enable itself to play a bigger part in international affairs. It is also conducive to quickening the process of world multipolarization as far as international politics is concerned." Shen adds that not only can China help the EU gain power in world affairs, but improved Sino-EU relations can also benefit the EU in other areas as well. He states that, economically, "The Chinese market is needed to catalyze Europe's economic growth." Even in the area of security, he claims, "China can be used to build a 'crescent' security zone around the EU." (187)


The current assessment of the future security environment publicly emerged in 1986, following the U.S.-Soviet summit, and can be attributed to Deng Xiaoping's national security advisor, Huan Xiang. Its orthodox tenets about a future multipolar world are subject to muted revision and debate. Among the disagreements which this chapter has examined in some detail: who will form the poles of a coming multipolar world; how "pole" should be defined and on what basis classifications should be made; the transition to a multipolar world and how to characterize the turmoil and world structure of such a transition period; and finally, how Chinese analysts interpret and construe recent events as evidence for the prevailing orthodox view, or conversely for the reformist view.

The Basic Framework

The Chinese assessment of the current and future security environment depicts the present world as being in an era of transition to a new world structure. During this period, great rivalries will emerge among the powers, and many local wars will be fought, as a struggle for world leadership takes place. Chinese authorities assert that world politics since the 1800s always has had a "system" or a "strategic pattern" (the "Vienna System" of 1815-70; an intermediate system when Germany and Italy each unified and Japan launched the Meiji Reform; the "Versailles System" of 1920-45; the "Yalta System" of 1945-89; and the present "transition era.") Under those rules, there is a competition among powers that includes a global division of spheres of influence. Some examples of the current rivalries to carve out spheres include:

The decline of U.S. power and influence is a key feature of the current era, so that after the transition period is complete, there will no longer be any superpowers but instead a "multipolar world" in which five major nations--China, the United States, Japan, Europe and Russia--will each have roughly equal comprehensive national power. International affairs in the new multipolar "world system" will be governed by the "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence," and hegemons and power politics will no longer prevail.


Chinese authors rarely refer to each other, seldom provide footnote or bibliographical information, and hardly ever mention or admit to the existence of debates or differences of opinions, let alone criticize other authors by name. The precedent was broken however in 1997 when two national journals carried two articles, one reformist in nature, and the other orthodox, which openly challenged and criticized the other point of view about the current transition period and the coming world of multipolarity. Yang Dazhou, a senior analyst at the Institute of American Studies of CASS, initiated the debate, when he published a direct and detailed criticism of the orthodox assessment of the future security environment. The article met with a forceful response from a senior general in military intelligence, Huang Zhengji. Although he did not directly cite Yang's article, Huang refuted it by quoting long passages of it. The two articles reflect a debate among Chinese analysts about:

In his article, Yang Dazhou put forward a reformist scenario of the current and future security environment, which conflicted with the majority of the key features of the orthodox view. He argued:

In turn, General Huang reasserted the orthodox view by contesting each of Yang's points:

Other differences or variances in opinion also exist about the above issues, however, rather than engaging in a direct debate, some Chinese authors employ more subtle techniques for showing dissent, such as by citing foreign experts in order to show an opposing view, or rising above the debate by inventing new definitions of orthodox terms. Sometimes a "neutral" author might set forth conflicting scenarios or different points of view held by other authors, or a journal will publish the comments of several scholars from a conference in a way that shows disagreements exist.

The NATO strikes on Yugoslavia and the NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in spring 1999 highlighted the debate concerning the future world structure, because they resulted in the reevaluation of previous assessments about the current transition period. The reformist view clearly gained support on the issues of the pace of U.S. decline and the rate of multipolarization. This new trend was manifested through a number of articles admitting that the transition to multipolarity has been postponed. The cause for the delay was largely attributed to the fact that the United States remains powerful. Not only were some authors no longer focusing on current U.S. decline, but rather they predicted that its strength may even continue to increase. However, other Chinese analysts, while recognizing that the pace of the multipolarization process has slowed, also emphasize that the current trend does not mean that the U.S. will be able to establish a unipolar world. It is only a temporary setback, the basic premise about the world moving toward a relatively equal multipolar structure has not been altered.

Regional Wars

Chinese analysts are largely in agreement that before multipolarity and peaceful coexistence prevails, the current transition period will be characterized by turbulence and instability. Despite the mantra that "peace and development are the main trend" of the times, regional wars are expected to be frequent. In general, a major world war is not predicted, although after the Kosovo crisis and Chinese embassy bombing in spring 1999, warnings were expressed by a few authors about the possibility of a third global war.

The regional wars that will prevail throughout the current period are noted to be increasing in intensity, scope and frequency. According to Chinese authors, they stem from three major sources:

While a number of authors stress that the major powers will not be involved in wars against one another, other authors cite struggles over resources as conflicts that could lead to such types of confrontations.

New regional war "hot spots" are expected to emerge as the transition period progresses, and aside from the current problem areas such as the Balkans, Africa, and the Middle East, Central Asia and the Asia Pacific are considered to be potential candidates. Whether or not the Asia-Pacific will remain stable is a subject for debate among Chinese analysts. The Korean peninsula, Taiwan, the Nansha Islands, and the Diaoyu islands, are cited as conceivable seeds for major conflicts, all of which could somehow involve China. Although Deng Xiaoping asserted that China would never be a source of war, China's rise as a global power is considered to be another possible cause of instability. Several authors have written about U.S. efforts, in the next decade or two, to contain China's development and prevent its rise in international affairs. They warn of potential conflicts between China and the United States, as China's power increases and the "desperate" United States struggles to maintain its leading position.

A number of analysts cite hegemonism and military interventionism as contributing to and exacerbating local wars. Following the NATO military strikes against Yugoslavia in spring 1999, for example, there was a tremendous increase in criticism and alarm about U.S. hegemonism being a source of war. Chinese analysts assert that in its pursuit of global hegemony and a unipolar world order, the United States will continue to intervene militarily throughout the transition period.

While many authors imply that there will be a war among the five major powers, there is another viewpoint that believes the potential for conflict exists among the major powers. A likely area for future conflict among the powers will be Central Asia, due to its strategic position and vast natural resources.

The current debates among Chinese security analysts all might be said to elaborate on the four alternative scenarios Deng Xiaoping described in the mid-1980s. Each was based on a different "basic contradiction" that would characterize the new era. Deng summarized a series of major conflicts in the world that might lead to war in four Chinese characters: "East, West, South, and North." The first set of conflicts, East-West, is posited as the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union--that is, between socialism and capitalism; West-West conflicts are characterized as being between developed capitalist countries; South-North conflicts are expected to be between the developing Third World countries and the developed capitalist countries; and South-South conflicts are defined as the differences between Third World countries that can lead to warfare. A crucial part of Deng's formulation of the sources of future warfare is that China will never be a source of war, nor does China aspire to become a superpower.

As noted, the formulation used by Chinese authors during the 1990s to forecast the future security environment is similar to the authoritative statements first made 15 years ago by Deng. Huan Xiang, his national security adviser, first announced the features of the current view of the future security environment in early 1986, just after the U.S.-Soviet summit:


65. An American view of the prospects for world multipolarity is found in Charles Krauthammer, "The Unipolar Moment," Foreign Affairs 70, no. 1 (America and the World, 1990/1991): 23-33. Krauthammer argues that there is but one first-rate world power and he forecasts that "no doubt, multipolarity will come in time. In perhaps another generation or so there will be great powers coequal with the United States . . . But we are not there yet, nor will be for decades." Similarly, Joseph Nye, Jr., in Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power (New York: Basic Books, 1990), 235, argues, "At one extreme multipolarity merely refers to the diffusion of power. At the other it refers to a number of roughly equal powers, able and willing to shift alliances frequently to maintain their equilibrium."

66. He Fang, "Guodu shiqi de guoji xingshi" (The international situation during the transition period), in 2000: Shijie xiang hechu qu? (2000: where is the world going?), ed. Yang Zheng (Beijing: Zhongguo guangbo dianshi chubanshe, 1996), 319.

67. Chen Xiaogong, a senior military intelligence officer and former U.S. Atlantic Council visiting fellow, has written that the question of the transition period will be "Should the world be built into a peaceful and stable place based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, one which is beneficial to economic development in an absolute majority of countries?" In Chen Feng and Chen Xiaogong, "The World Is in the Transition Period of a New Strategic Pattern Replacing the Old," Jiefang jun bao (Liberation Army Daily), January 4, 1991, 3, in FBIS-CHI-91-021, January 31, 1991, 11-15.

68. Chinese views of the RMA will be treated in detail in chapter 6.

69. Mi Zhenyu, Zhongguo guofang fazhan gouxiang (China's national defense development concepts) (Beijing: Jiefangjun chubanshe, 1988). Excerpts translated in Michael Pillsbury, ed., Chinese Views of Future Warfare (Washington: National Defense University Press, 1997), 361-381. Mi Zhenyu is a former Vice President of the Academy of Military Science (AMS).

70. Mao's assessment predicted an inevitable Soviet-American war in Europe, in which Soviet forces would drive NATO forces toward the Channel and result in a "Dunkirk" or evacuation under fire of the United States from continental Europe.

71. Major General Pan Zhengqiang, "Current World Military Situation," Renmin ribao (People's Daily), December 23,1993, 7, in FBIS-CHI-94-005, January 7, 1994, 27-29. Pan is Director of the Institute for National Security Studies of the National Defense University (NDU) in Beijing.

72. Zhu Chenghu, "Focus Attention on the Converging Points of Interest of China and the United States" (in Chinese), Jiefangjun bao (Liberation Army Daily), June 19, 1998, 4. Zhu is Deputy Director of the Strategic Research Institute of the National Defense University, Beijing.

73. For examples of comprehensive studies on the current and future security environment sponsored by three different institutions, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, and the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, see Xi Runchang and Gao Heng, eds., Shijie zhengzhi xin geju yu guoji anquan (The new world political structure and international security)(Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1996); Chen Qimao, ed., Kua shiji de shijie geju da zhuanhuan (Major changes in the world structure at the turn of the century)(Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu chubanshe, 1996); and Li Zhongcheng, Kua shiji de shijie zhengzhi (Trans century world politics)(Beijing: Shishi chubanshe, 1997).

74. Zhang Taishan, "Ri-Mei junshi guanxi de xin fazhan" (New developments in the Japan-U.S. military relationship), Guoji zhanlue yanjiu (International Strategic Studies) 46, no. 4 (October 1997): 16-18. Zhang is a Research Fellow at the Chinese Institute of International Strategic Studies CIISS.

75. Feng Shaokui's article on this issue is discussed below.

76. Chen Peiyao, "Big Power Relations in the Asia-Pacific Region," SIIS Journal 1, no. 3 (November 1995): 1.

77. Zhou Xiaohua, "Roundup: Overt and Covert Russia-U.S. Rivalry in China," Beijing Xinhua Domestic Service, December 28, 1998, in FBIS-CHI-99-004, January 4, 1999.

78. Wang Yizhou, "A Warning Issued at the End of the Century," Shijie Zhishi, no. 10 (May 16, 1999): 7-10, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0623, June 24, 1999.

79. Yan Zheng, "What Are NATO Motives in Bombing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?," Renmin Luntan, no. 4 (April 15, 1999): 37-39, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0516, May 16, 1999. See also Zhang Dezhen, "On U.S. Eurasian Strategy," Renmin Ribao, June 4, 1999, 6, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0605, June 4, 1999. "The recent aggressive war flagrantly waged by the U.S.-led NATO forces against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has laid bare the fact that the United States would not hesitate to make a reckless move to pull out the last 'nail' in Europe and to place the Balkan region and the entire Europe under its control. . . . By expanding its sphere of influence at both the east end and the west end of Eurasia, the United States has succeeded in encircling Eurasia in two directions and in bringing pressure to bear on the Eurasian countries. In view of the U.S. infiltration into and the U.S. control over the Gulf-Caucasus-Caspian Sea-Central Asian region, it could be said, the United States has attained step by step its strategic goal of first placing Eurasia and then the whole world under its control."

80. Huan Xiang, "Xin jishu geming dui junshi de yingxiang" (The influence of the new technological revolution on military affairs), in Huan Xiang wenji (The collected works of Huan Xiang)(Beijing: Shijie zhishi chubanshe, 1994), 2: 1263. This article was originally published in Liberation Army Daily, June 7 and June 14, 1985.

81. Huan Xiang, "Yatai diqu xingshi he Mei-Su de zhengduo zhanlue" (The situation in the Asia-Pacific region and U.S.-Soviet rivalry strategy), in Huan Xiang wenji, 1115. This article originally appeared in Guoji zhanwang (International Outlook), no. 14 (1984).

82. Soon after Huan Xiang began to discuss the new multipolar era, another analyst described many of the key tenets of the current assessment of the multipolar world structure in an open source article. See Gao Heng, "Shijie zhanlue geju zhengxiang duojihua fazhan" (Development of global strategic multipolarity), Guofang daxue xuebao (National Defense University Journal), no. 2 (1986): 32-33.

83. Huan Xiang, "Wo guo 'qiwu' qijian mianlin guoji zhengzhi jingji huanjing de fenxi" (An analysis of the international political and economic environment that China is facing during its seventh five-year plan), in Huan Xiang wenji, 1300. Originally an interview with a reporter from the Shanghai shijie jingji dabao.

84. Huan Xiang, "Zhanwang 1986 nian guoji xingshi" (Prospects for the 1986 international situation), in Huan Xiang wenji, 1291. Originally published in Liaowang, no. 1 (1986).

85. Ibid., 1292-1293.

86. Ibid., 1291-1292.

87. Huan Xiang, "Dui shijie xingshi fazhan qushi de fenxi ji junwei tichu zhuanru 'heping shiqi' zhanlue juece de lillun yiju" (An analysis of the development trends in the world situation and the theoretical basis of the central military commission's strategic decision concerning the shift to the "period of peace"), in Huan Xiang wenji, 1327-1328. Originally published March 1, 1986.

88. Huan Xiang, "Kexue juece yu guoji huanjing" (Scientific decisionmaking and the international environment), in Huan Xiang wenji, 1395-1396.

89. Ibid., 1400.

90. Two articles on the subject are Ye Ru'an, "Conceptions of the World's Future: On Different Propositions Concerning the new International Order," Shijie zhishi (World Knowledge), no. 13 (July 1, 1991), in FBIS-CHI-91-140, July 22, 1991; and speeches at a symposium on this issue by 18 Chinese analysts published in Shijie zhishi (World Knowledge), no. 12 (June 16, 1991), in FBIS-CHI-91-141, July 23, 1991.

91. Stanley R. Sloan, "The U.S. Role in a New World Order: Prospects for George Bush's Global Vision" (Washington: Congressional Research Service, March 28, 1991).

92. Luo Renshi, "Strategic Structure, Contradictions and the New World Order," International Strategic Studies 19, no.1 (March 1991): 1-6.

93. Yang Dazhou, "Dui lengzhan hou shijie geju zhi wo jian" (My opinion on the post-Cold War world structure), Heping yu Fazhan (Peace and Development) 60, no. 2 (June 1997): 41-45.

94. Huang Zhengji, "Shijie duojihua qushi buke kangju" (The inevitable trend toward multipolarity), Guoji zhanlue yanjiu (International Strategic Studies) 46, no. 4 (October 1997): 1-3. This article parallels the same author's views in an article entitled "Volatile World Situation," International Strategic Studies 24, no. 2 (June 1992): 1-5. The journal is published by CIISS and is sponsored by Chinese military intelligence, in which General Huang served.

95. Yang Dazhou, "Dui lengzhan hou shijie geju zhi wo jian," 43-44.

96. Yang may have an ally in the author of a book published by the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR). On its last page, the author concludes, "The future multipolar structure's principal parts will be the five powers, the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and Germany. The United States will no doubt become 'one pole in the multipolar world,' but its comprehensive strength will be comparatively more powerful than that of other poles, its relations with the other poles also probably will be friendlier than the mutual relations between the four other poles, and its ability to conform to changes probably will be a little bit stronger. Therefore, can it be said: the U.S. in the future is 'one pole in the multipolar world,' but we also can say it is 'the first pole.' " See Lin Huisheng, Gei shanmu dashu suan yi gua (Telling uncle sam's fortune)(Beijing: Shishi chubanshe, 1995), 229.

97. Chen Feng, "1997 nian di guoji zhanlue xingshi" (The strategic situation in 1997), Guoji zhanlue yanjiu (International Strategic Studies) 47, no. 1 (January 1998): 3-7. According to interviews, Colonel Chen served in the Situation Room of the Chinese military intelligence headquarters in Beijing. He now is at the Chinese mission to the United Nations in New York. Shen Qurong, Director of CICIR, provides similar examples of how U.S. foreign affairs activities have been rebuffed around the world: "During the Iraqi crisis of nuclear weapons inspection, the United States did not hesitate to spend several billion U.S. dollars and amassed a large number of naval and air units trying to launch military attacks against Iraq, and stopped short only because of opposition from the majority of the countries around the world including Russia, France, and China. At the Geneva meeting on human rights, the United States was forced to drop its anti-China human rights proposal for lack of support, and its motion against Cuba was also voted down by the conference. The United States has tried to dominate the peace process of the Middle East, but Europe and Russia wanted to share the leading role with it, and Israel did not energetically cooperate with it. In handling the crisis resulting from India's nuclear tests, the United States did not give a strong enough response and the eight-nation group had a divergence of opinion, so Pakistan was forced to follow suit, seriously undermining the international nuclear nonproliferation system advocated by the United States over a long period." See Shen Qurong, "The World is Experiencing the Tests of Crises," Liaowang, no. 27 (July 6, 1998): 6, in FBIS-CHI-98-216, August 6, 1998.

98. Xiong Guangkai, "Mianxiang 21 shiji de guoji anquan xingshi yu Zhongguo jundui jianshe" (Gearing toward the international security situation and the building of Chinese armed forces in the 21st century), Guoji zhanlue yanjiu (International Strategic Studies) 48, no. 2 (April 1998): 1-4.

99. The six scenarios are: One, the world is currently in a transition era toward a future multipolar world. Two, there will be a "multilayered multipolar world" (duo cengci de duoji shijie), because "the multipolar structure is not a unilevel equal rank system." Rather, in different fields different countries will have greater power. For example, the United States and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will be the military poles; the United States, Japan and Europe will be the economic poles; and the United States, the CIS, China, Europe, Japan, and the Third World will be the political poles. Third, there will be no poles in the future world structure. "In the foreseeable future, the world will be a world of sudden changes, a turbulent and unstable world. . . . In this world without poles, there are no centers, and there is a great lack of stability." However, there will be "a completely new, large unified international structure." Fourth, there will be a "three pole era" formed by the United States, Europe and Japan. Fifth, there will be "the age of the Comprehensive National Power competition," where strength "will not again be determined by superiority in one single area, such as economics, politics or military affairs." Sixth would be "Han Suyin's unique view" of serious economic and financial confrontation, military interventionism, and the pervasive influence of Western culture and models. Yang Zheng's only ambiguous remarks are, "In brief, having 'left Yalta,' the world is seeking a direction and center of resistence, each tentative idea exists in two of the above possibilities and feasibilities, and all have put forward their various anticipated theoretical and factual foundations. However, the development of history often does not change according to people's subjective wishes; its laws of motion frequently are difficult to dictate." See Yang Zheng, ed., 2000: Shijie xiang hechu qu?, 22-24.

100. Xi Runchang, "Shijie zhengzhi xin geju de chuxing ji qi qianjing" (The embryonic form of the world's new political structure and its prospects), Heping yu fazhan (Peace and Development), no. 1 (1997), cited in Li Zhongcheng, Kua shiji de shijie zhengzhi (Trans century world politics)(Beijing: Shishi chubanshe, 1997), 29.

101. Yan Xuetong, "1996-1997 nian guoji xingshi yu Zhonguo duiwai guanxi baogao" (A report on the 1996-1997 international situation and China's foreign relations), Zhanlue yu guanli (Strategy and Management), supplementary issue (1996-1997), cited in Li Zhongcheng, Kua shiji de shijie zhengzhi, 31.

102. Song Baoxian and Yu Xiaoqiu, "Shijie duojihua qushi jishu fazhan" (The world's multipolarity trend continues to develop), Renmin ribao (People's Daily), December 28, 1994, cited in Li Zhongcheng, Kua shiji de shijie zhengzhi , 32.

103. Wu Hua, Shen Weili, and Zhen Hongtao, Nan Ya zhi shi--Indu (The lion of South Asia--India)(Beijing: Shishi chubanshe, 1997), 2.

104. Yan Xuetong, Zhongguo guojia liyi fenxi (Analysis of China's national interests)(Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 1996), 55.

105. Yang Dazhoug, "Dui lengzhan hou shijie geju zhi wo jian," 43.

106. Ibid., 42.

107. He Fang, "Guodu shiqi de guoji xingshi," in 2000: Shijie xiang hechu qu?, 318.

108. Chen Qimao, "Qianyan" (Introduction), in Kua shiji de shijie geju da zhuanhuan (Major changes in the world structure at the turn of the century), ed. Chen Qimao (Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu chubanshe, 1996), 1-2.

109. Li Jijun, Junshi lilun yu zhanzheng shijian (Notes on military theory and military strategy) (Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1994), in Pillsbury, Chinese Views of Future Warfare, 222.

110. Li Jijun, "This Century's Strategic Heritage and Next Century's Strategic Trend," Jiefangjun bao (Liberation Army Daily), July 28, 1998, 6, in FBIS-CHI-98-229, August 18, 1998.

111. Shang Jin, "Tongyi sannian hou de Deguo" (Germany, three years after reunification), Heping yu Fazhan (Peace and Development) 47, no. 1 (February 1994): 42-44.

112. Qi Deguang, "The Bosnian Civil War: Retrospect and Prospect," Contemporary International Relations 4, no. 8 (August 1994): 10-11. Qi is an Associate Research Professor at CICIR.

113. Wang Houkang, "Lengzhan hou Ouzhou geju de bianhua" (Post-Cold War changes in Europe's structure), in Kua shiji de shijie geju da zhuanhuan, 153-154.

114. Ibid.

115. Shen Guoliang, "Prospects for the Development of the European Union," International Strategic Studies 45, no .3 (July 1997): 30.

116. Chen Qimao, "Qianyan" (Introduction), in Kua shiji de shijie geju da zhuanhuan, 9.

117. He Fang, "With Multipolarity Now Evolving, the Superpowers are Going to Become History," Shanghai Jiefang Ribao (Shanghai Liberation Daily), April 22, 1996.

118. Li Donghang, "Dangerous Attempt to Resist Multipolarization Process," Jiefangjun bao (Liberation Army Daily), May 26, 1999, 5, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0604, May 26, 1999.

119. Wang Zhuxun, "Effects of Kosovo on Global Security," Liaowang, no. 20 (May 17, 1999): 8-10, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0622, June 23, 1999.

120. Ibid.

121. Xiao Lian, "On U.S. Economic Expansion and Hegemonism," Renmin Ribao, June 8, 1999, 7, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0610, June 8, 1999.

122. Hsu Taochen, "World Facing Seven Ill Omens at Turn of Century--Interviewing CASS Research Fellow Shen Jiru (part 2 of 3)," Ta Kung Pao (Hong Kong), May 20, 1999, A6, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0608, June 10, 1999.

123. Wang Zhuxun, "Effects of Kosovo on Global Security."

124. Hsu Taochen, "World Facing Seven Ill Omens at Turn of Century--Interviewing CASS Research Fellow Shen Jiru."

125. "On the New Development of U.S. Hegemonism,"Renmin Ribao, May 27,1999, 1, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0527, May 27, 1999.

126. Xiao Feng, "World Trends Under U.S. Global Strategy, Part One of Two," Renmin Ribao, May 31, 1999, p.6; in FBIS-CHI-1999-0601, May 31, 1999.

127. "On the New Development of U.S. Hegemonism.

128. Xiao Feng, "World Trends Under U.S. Global Strategy, Part One of Two."

129. Ma Ling, "The Attempt Behind the 'Bombing in Error'-- Interview with Renowned Military Commentator Zhang Zhaozhong," Ta Kung Pao (Hong Kong), May 17, 1999, A4, in FBIS-CHI-1999-1518, May 17, 1999.

130. For example, see Chen Qimao, Kua shiji de shijie geju da zhuanhuan (Major changes in world structure at the turn of the century)(Shanghai: Shanghai jiaoyu chubanshe, 1996).

131. For example, see Chen Qimao, "Lengzhan hou daguo zhengzhi juezhu de xin dongxiang" (The New direction of the post-Cold War political rivalry of the major powers], Qiushi, no. 6 (1995): 39-44. Chen has also presented his views on the future security environment in American publications. See Chen Qimao, "New Approaches in China's Foreign Policy--the Post-Cold War Era," Asian Survey 32, no. 3 (March 1993): 237-251. During his time as President of SIIS, Chen was a foreign relations advisor to former Shanghai mayors Wang Daohan and Jiang Zemin. More recently, he has been a visiting Research Fellow at California State University and Princeton University and currently is president of the Shanghai International Relations Society.

132. Chen Qimao, "The Transitional Era: Roots of Turbulence and Features of International Affairs," SIIS Journal 1, no. 2 (1994): 15-32. All other quotes in this section are from this article, unless otherwise noted.

133. Liang Yufan, "The Rise of Asia and Asian Regional Security," SIIS Journal 1, no. 1 (1994): 13.

134. This Chinese phrase has been translated by Chinese authors as "structure" or "pattern" or "regime." The terms are used interchangeably in this volume.

135. Yang Zheng, ed., 2000: Shijie xiang hechu qu?, 25.

136. Chen Feng and Chen Xiaogong, "The World is in the Transition Period of a New Strategic Pattern Replacing the Old," 11-15.

137. Ibid., 3.

138. For example, a discussion of the Versailles-Washington System, as well as the Vienna and Yalta Systems, can be found in Yang Zheng, 2000: Shijie xiang hechu qu?, 24-36.

139. Chen Feng and Chen Xiaogong, "The World is in a Transition Period of the New Strategic Pattern Replacing the Old," 3. Yang Dazhou of CASS offers a different version of the events that led to the formation of the post-World War II Cold War structure, which he says was established in 1949. "In 1949 three major events occurred, making that year the symbolic year of the new structure: First, the Western nations, with the United States as the head, established NATO, which was directed against the Soviet Union, revealing the prelude to the Cold War. Second, the Soviet Union successfully exploded a nuclear bomb, giving the Soviets the military means to contend with the United States. Third, new China was established, causing changes to occur in the world's power balance, which greatly benefitted the 'socialist camp.' " Yang Dazhou, "Dui lengzhan hou shijie geju zhi wo jian," 42.

140. He Fang, "Guodu shiqi de guoji xingshi," in 2000: Shijie xiang hechu qu?, 322. He Fang is at the State Council International Studies Center.

141. This topic is discussed further in chapter 6; forecasts of how the United States will fare in the military competition are found in chapter 2.

142. Xia Liping, Wang Zhongchun, Wen Zhonghua, and Xu Weidi, "Shijie zhanlue xingshi de zhuyao tedian yu qushi" (The world strategic situation--characteristics and trends), Heping yu fazhan (Peace and Development) 47, no. 1 (February 1994): 14-18. The authors are from the National Defense University Strategy Institute.

143. Liao Yonghe, "Pingmian duojihua yu liti duojihua qianxi" (On the new pattern of world politics), Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi (World Economics and Politics) 184, no. 12 (December 1995): 67-69. Liao is on the staff of the European Institute at CASS.

144. Li Zhongcheng, Kua Shiji de shijie zhengzhi, 185.

145. Li Qinggong, "Dangqian de guoji junshi anquan xingshi" (The current international military security situation), Guoji zhanlue yanjiu (International Strategic Studies) 47, no. 1 (January 1998): 9.

146. Chinese analysts are not entirely negative about the role of the United Nations in the future world structure. For example, Sa Benwang, a Senior Researcher at CIIS, when predicting what the world pattern will be like in 2015 or 2020, writes, "International organizations such as the United Nations will continue to exist and be strengthened." Sa Benwang, "Perspectives of International Strategic Patterns in the 21st Century," Liaowang, no. 37 (September 14, 1998): 41-42, in FBIS-CHI-98-268, September 29, 1998. See also the section, "Can the U.N. Become the World's Government?" in Guo Longlong, "Xin shiqi Lianheguo de diwei he zuoyong (The position and role of the United Nations in the new period)," in Kua shiji de shijie geju da zhuanhuan, 357-359.

147. Chen Feng and Chen Xiaogong, "The World is in a Transition Period of the New Strategic Pattern Replacing the Old," 3.

148. "Experts on NATO's New Strategy and Related Issues," Beijing Review, no. 23 (June 7, 1999).

149. "China Must Be Ready to Fight a World War--PLA Believes That the West Is Hatching Six Major Conspiracies Against China," Sing Tao Jih Pao (Hong Kong), May 28, 1999, b14, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0528, June 1, 1999.

150. Hsu Tao-chen, "United States Still Makes Old Mistakes, Exclusive interview with Shen Jiru," Hong Kong Ta Kung Pao, May 21, 1999, p. A6; in FBIS-CHI-1999-0604, May 21, 1999. Shen is a Research Fellow and director of the International Strategic Research Section of the Institute of World Economics and Politics, CASS.

151. Wang Zhuxun, "Effects of Kosovo on Global Security."

152. Chen Qimao, "Qianyan," 2.

153. Zhang Dezhen and Zhu Manting, "Relations Among Big Nations Profoundly Adjusted and Multipolar Trends Quickened," Renmin Ribao (People's Daily), December 15, 1997, 7, in FBIS-CHI-98-001, January 1, 1998.

154. Li Zhongcheng, Kua Shiji de shijie zhengzhi, 192.

155. Ibid., 191.

156. Wang Xuhe, "Dangqian guoji anquan xingshi de zhuyao tedian" (The main characteristics of the current international security situation), Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi (World Economics and Politics) 209, no. 1 (January 1998): 7.

157. Chen Feng, "1997 nian de guoji zhanlue xingshi," 5.

158. Li Qinggong, "Dangqian de guoji junshi anquan xingshi," 10.

159. Wang Zhuxun, "Effects of Kosovo on Global Security."

160. Wang Jincun, "Global Democratization--Camouflage of U.S. Hegemony," Xinhua, May 27, 1999, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0527, May 27, 1999.

161. Chu Shulong, "Sino-US Relations Pushed into Perilous Waters," Shijie zhishi, no. 11 (June 1, 1999): 9-10, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0622, June 23, 1999.

162. Luo Renshi, "What about the 'New Gunboat Policy'," Jiefangjun bao, May 20, 1999, 5, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0526, May 20, 1999. A more extensive description of the history of the rise and decline of U.S. interventionism comes from Wang Zhuxun, who states, "The United States . . . is riding on the third expansionist upsurge in its history. During the first upsurge, which lasted from the end of the 18th century to early 19th century, the United States capitalized on endless internal strife brought on by the revolutionary movement and the War of Napoleon in the old European continent, and put forward the Monroe Doctrine. It went full force to expand in the Western Hemisphere, and tried its best to turn America into the Americans' America. During the second upsurge, which lasted from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century, the United States developed from free capitalism to monopoly capitalism, and increased its national strength tremendously. Under the guidance of Mahan's theory on sea power, it vigorously expanded overseas. . . . Now, the United States is in a new period of expansion. Factors such as the weakening of its Cold War opponent and its sustained economic growth have placed the United States in a new window of strategic opportunity.' The Kosovo War was launched in this strategic backdrop. This will be an important factor that impacts on the direction headed by the international strategic situation in the 21st century." Wang Zhuxun, "Effects of Kosovo on Global Security."

163. "Just See How the United States Expands its Arms and Prepares for War," Xinhua, June 1, 1999, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0603, June 1, 1999.

164. Ma Ling, "The Attempt Behind the 'Bombing in Error'--Interview with Renowned Military Commentator Zhang Zhaozhong."

165. Bi Changhong, "Polarization Attempt and Danger of War," Jiefangjun bao, May 21, 1999, 4, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0528, May 21, 1999.

166. Liu Mingde, "The Implications of the Changes in Warfare After Disintegration of the Bipolar Structure," International Strategic Studies 24, no. 2 (June 1992): 7-8.

167. He Xin, Zhongguo fuxing yu shijie weilai, 8.

168. For an example of the former view, see General Pan Zhengqiang, "The Current World Military Situation," Renmin ribao (People's Daily), December 23, 1993, 7, in FBIS-CHI-94-005, January 7, 1994.

169. Xia Liping, Wang Zhongchun, Wen Zhonghua, and Xu Weidi, "Shijie zhanlue xingshi de zhuyao tedian yu qushi," 14-18.

170. Yang Shuheng, "Lengzhan hou daguo he diqu liliang dui Zhongya de zhengduo" (The struggles over central Asia by major nations and regional forces in the post-Cold War period), Heping yu fazhan (Peace and Development) 60, no. 2 (June 1997): 26-29.

171. Ibid., 45.

172. Li Yonggang, "Looking at the U.S. World Strategy Against the Backdrop of the Kosovo Crisis," excerpt published in Zhongguo Tongxun She (Hong Kong), May 27, 1999, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0528, May 27, 1999.

173. Gao Heng, "Shijie daguo guanxi de xin tedian" (New characteristics of the relations between the world's major nations), Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi (World Economics and Politics) 209, no. 1 (January 1998): 8.

174. Chen Feng, "1997 nian de guoji zhanlue xingshi,"5.

175. For example, Colonel Xu Weidi of the NDU predicts that the two great zones of war will be the East Asian littoral (because of territorial disputes) and the Eurasian zone, including Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. See Colonel Xu Weidi, "Post Cold War Naval Security Environment," World Military Trends (Beijing: Academy of Military Science, no date).

176. Zhang Changtai, "1997 nian yatai diqu xingshi zongshu" (Roundup of the Asia Pacific situation in 1997), Guoji zhanlue yanjiu (International Strategic Studies) 47, no. 1 (January 1998): 20.

177. Chen Peiyao, "East Asian Security: Situation, Concept and Mechanism," The SIIS Journal 3, no. 2 (July 1997): 2.

178. Shen Qurong, "Post-War Asia Pacific: Historical Lessons and Common Efforts for a Bright Future," Contemporary International Relations 5, no. 11 (November 1995): 7.

179. Li Zhongcheng, Kua shiji de shijie zhengzhi, 192.

180. Lu Guangye, "Going Against the Tide of History, Threatening World Peace," Jiefangjun bao, June 6, 1999, 4, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0617, June 18, 1999.

181. Ma Ling, "The Attempt Behind the 'Bombing in Error'--Interview with Renowned Military Commentator Zhang Zhaozhong."

182. Chu Shulong, "Sino-U.S. Relations Pushed into Perilous Waters."

183. Yan Xuetong, "The International Security Environment of China's Rise," in Guoji xingshi genxi baogao--1997-1998 (Study reports on the international situation--1997-1998)(Beijing: Zhanlue yu guanli chubanshe, 1998), 82-83. This book has 10 authors, four from CASS, three from CICIR, one from CSSM, and one unidentified.

184. Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, vol. 3, 344, quoted in "Hegemonism Should Never be Allowed to Act Willfully," Qiushi, no. 11 (June 1, 1999): 6-7, 10, in FBIS-CHI-1999-0617, June 18, 1999.

185. Gao Heng, "Dongbei Ya de anquan geju ji weilai qushi" (Northeast Asia's security structure and future trends), 21 shi ji (21st Century), no. 6 (1995): 36.

186. Feng Zhongping, "An Analysis of the China Policy of the European Union," Contemporary International Relations 8, no. 4 (April 1988): 1-6. Feng is Deputy Director of the Division for Western European Studies at CICIR.

187. Shen Yihui, "Cross-Century European-Chinese Relations," Liaowang, no. 14 (April 6, 1998): 40-41, in FBIS-CHI-98-114, April 24, 1998. For an additional article discussing improving Sino-EU relations see Wang Xingqiao, "A Positive Step Taken by the European Union to Promote Relations with China," Beijing Xinhua Domestic Service, July 1, 1998, in FBIS-CHI-98-191, July 10, 1998.